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Trevor Cochrane s top palm tree varieties
Picture: Guru Productions Bismarck palms.

Palms went out of fashion some time ago but they are back and I predict that poolside palm gardens, in particular, will become more and more popular over the next few years.

Palmate leaf shapes are great, with the Bismarck palm set to be the most popular, its thornless blue/grey stiff foliage a gorgeous addition to an exotic garden.

My other favourites include Lou Lou, a large fan-leaf palm from Hawaii with enormous leaves, and the foxtail, which looks great as a stand-alone but best when planted in groups. It adds height and the foliage effect is beautiful.

I'm also a fan of the fishtail palm, something that should be planted now for best growth results. Its huge leaves (Caryota urens is my favourite species) look incredible in a tropical garden.

Lastly, avenue plantings of the Cuban royal palm are possible here and this massive palm has simply beautiful trunk shapes.